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In The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, how does the shift in point of view affect your...

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ljm3515 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 22, 2012 at 5:47 AM via web

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In The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, how does the shift in point of view affect your reading and what does the author accomplish by employing this shift?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 22, 2012 at 6:04 AM (Answer #1)

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This is a great question. The Joy Luck Club is a great book and there are many points of view. In fact, there are no less than sixteen stories interwoven among mothers and daughters of Chinese descent, as they reflect on their lives. In light of this, let me make some comments. 

First, because there are so many perspectives, the reader gets a real sense that the novel moves quickly. There is not one consistent voice, but many voices. The reader likes some of these voices and perspectives and does not like others. There is a natural comparison that takes place. Also the authors captures the reader through so many voices. 

Second, with all of these perspectives, the reader is forced to ask from whose perspective the stories are being told. Is it the author's voice? Is it the narrator's voice? Moreover, as these perspectives valid? In literary circles, this is called focalization.

Finally, these many perspectives make the novel complex. It becomes truer to life.  In the end, the reader is able to relate to some of these voices. 


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